Having the Right Tools for the Right Job

To get a job or task completed one needs the right tools. Yes, it takes know-how and skill, but the tools are essential. The butcher, baker and cabinet maker all have a set of tools that are specific to getting their prescribed tasks completed. But just because the correct knife is critical for the butcher, it is of little use to the cabinet maker. The right tool for the right job is everything.

In the world of backup and recovery, it is much the same. Applications, especially critical ones such as email or databases, need a specific set of tools to allow users to adequately protect and recover them in a timely fashion. This concept of using the right tool for the right job is not new, but an offshoot of the “one size never fits all” mantra we have discussed in the past.

That said, the IT world has undergone several transformational changes in the past several years. The era of converged infrastructure is now upon us, meaning that once separate technology and solution stacks such as servers, storage and networking, now reside in a single chassis. Essentially, it’s a datacenter in a box, if you will. Converged infrastructure also relies on a highly virtualized management or orchestration layer to facilitate the movement of data inside or outside of a physical datacenter or cloud. Another benefit of converged infrastructure is simplified deployment and fewer vendor specific products the customer must deal with during the procurement process. 

So in the era of converged infrastructure application protection and recovery can be a more complex process at the outset. Again, this all hinges on choosing the right tools for the job. Before one can make that determination of the right tool or set of tools, administrators need to determine the applications that are truly central to the mission of their organization.

Email is critical

We hear time-and-time again that email is critical to the operation to most firms. Downtime or data loss is no longer an option for most companies, particularly for their email applications. In order to ensure timely recovery of email without data loss one must have the right set of tools and develop a set of best practices for lossless recovery of their email applications.

In many cases, there is no singular set of tools for application recovery. Customers must embrace tools that are scalable and provide a consistent protection and recovery framework from their datacenter to their applications. The choice depends on their Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTO). In the case of an email application, does the tool support granular file or folder recovery? Will some level of email be operational during an outage or disaster? Is the tool optimized for offsite disaster recovery and cloud backup of Exchange servers? These are all very key questions when evaluating a new tool for critical application recovery such as email.

In addition to having the right tools for rapid, consistent recovery of critical applications such email or Exchange Servers customers must have a well scripted and orchestrated recovery procedure in place to ensure adequate recovery objectives are met. Moreover, we believe that customers must have a set of best practices to go alongside the best tools for email or application recoveries. The items that a customer must be mindful of when considering a protection and recovery solution or strategy include:

  • Understanding their existing backup environment, including BC/DR initiatives
  • Size, scale and scope of applications to be protected
  • A clear notion of each application RPO and RPO
  • Level of granularity of item, file, folder or object recovery
  • Understanding offsite recovery mechanisms that could use replication technology, disk-based appliances or cloud
  • The alignment of RPO and RTO to current and future business initiatives

These considerations are by no means exhaustive but are important considerations for customers to weigh when deploying new tools for email or application recovery. At Dell, we have a broad portfolio of tools designed to enable customers to achieve email and application recoveries that meet or exceed stringent RPO/RTO’s and align with customer business requirements. Simply put, our data protection and recovery solutions save time, money and provide greater customer value than prevailing solutions in the market today. We continue to develop and refine our products to meet aggressive customer application recovery today and in the future. We encourage customers looking to make a change to consider Dell solutions.

For more tips and best practices for protecting Exchange, download our white paper.